Katherine Dionne, North Hall High School, Gainesville, GA
Katherine correlates leadership to setting the “PACE” (P=Passion, A=Accountability, C=Connection/Collaboration, E=Education). After witnessing a classmate packing a school lunch to ensure a meal over the weekend, Katherine decided to research child hunger in her community. She learned that 60% of students received free or reduced lunch. Katherine considered the “nutritional gap” affecting students during the summer months and proposed “Sow More, Grow More,” an initiative to increase food donations, to local farmers. In its initial year, “Sow More, Grow More” operated for the full growing season, 23 weeks, and generated over 600 pounds of fresh produce. Katherine received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award and President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award. Katherine is an IB student dually-enrolled at the University of North Georgia. She is also the founder of her high school’s Chinese Club. Katherine is working with a Confucius Institute educator to create Chinese conversation videos for county-wide use. She was recently awarded the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship by the U.S. State Department to study Chinese in Beijing, China, for a year.